06/04/2018 12:14 SAST

MIT's Wearable Headset Can Read Your Mind

This is not science fiction.

Lorrie Lejeune/MIT
Lorrie Lejeune/MIT

The idea of humans being able to read each other’s minds has almost exclusively been the domain of science fiction and fantasy, and yet in reality we’re closer than you might think.

MIT researchers have created a wearable headset that when worn can actually hear the words you vocalise in your head. That’s right.

The headset works by measuring the tiny neuromuscular signals that we create when we say words in our heads.

They are completely imperceptible to the human eye, but when electrodes are placed at various points on the jaw they can actually be read and understood.

A powerful piece of software then takes those signals and translates them into words which then then be sent to either a computer as an instruction, or to another person.

The researchers carried out two tests, the first of which allowed them to control a TV streaming device by doing nothing more than simply saying the instructions in their mind.

Lorrie Lejeune/MIT

The second was perhaps even more impressive with a researcher relaying his opponents chess moves to a computer, the computer would then come up with a solution and relay it back to the researcher through a completely silent headphone.

During the tests the computer had a successful translation rate of 92%.

The team aren’t stopping there, their eventual hope is to create a system so fast and responsive that two people could have a complete conversation with one another without uttering a word or typing a single sentence on their phone.